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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Linked to this earlier via Lessig. It's a potent reminder that the DarkNet being built out in response to RIAA lawsuits can retain many of the attributes that allow positive speech elsewhere. Moreover, since Grokster, methods of communication which do not discriminate between illegal and legal 'speech' are increasingly non-commercial, as commercial alternatives are subject to at very least large legal bills. Consequently the financial pressures described in Wu and Goldsmith are less relevent. Finally, since the sound and video DarkNets being built out cannot be inefficient if they are to deal with the massive size of the files they are intended to carry, future secure DarkNets may well be considerably faster than FreeNet, whose sluggishness is a major barrier to its adoption. Thus free speech may not come from a small network of absolutely secure communications, along the FreeNet model, but from a massive network of mostly secure communications. The cost to users of mostly secure is much lower than absolutely secure, and the cost to censors of massive traffic versus small traffic is much higher--particularly if simply shutting down the whole network is a viable option.



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